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16 July 2011 @ 09:55 am
the two faces of vengeance - part III  
When he opens his eyes the next morning, Castiel is fucking perched at the end of his bed.

“What the – how long have you been here?”

“Not long.”

“You know that’s massively creepy, don’t you,” Dean states, even if he’s more worried by the fact that he hadn’t woken up when someone walked into his room. He usually wakes up at the smallest noise – he figures that Castiel must be very silent. He thinks fleetingly that if it had been anyone else, he’d have put the knife he keeps under his pillow on their throat by now, but as things are, he has barely lifted a finger. It should probably trouble him more than everything else.

“That’s not of import. I just wanted to say that it worked.”

“Yeah, well, guess it might interest you if I tell you that Adler and Raphael killed a bunch of arms dealers down at the river last night.”

“And how do you know?”

“I happened to be there.”

“Does anyone else know you were there?”

“One of the guys at the newspaper, though not the one you talked to. Figured that if I bite it, they’d be the ones I’d want to know.”

“Good idea. I must go back to our gang now, since apparently freeing your friend earned me some money from Alastair’s latest trip to the bank in the next town over. But now that they’re both here–”

“I know. It’s high time we get down to business. I’ll see how things are at Adler’s tonight, get back to you here and then we can decide what’s next. It’d probably be better if they were all in the same place when we act, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers, right?”

“No, they can’t. Very well, I will see you tonight.”

Then the son of a bitch moves towards the window, opens it and jumps down to the ground with such grace that Dean is tempted to envy him. Dean watches him walk until he turns the corner and disappears. He bites his lip, and then realizes that for the entire conversation Castiel had been… well. Closer than Dean usually allows. And Dean hadn’t noticed that at all, not until now; more than that, he hadn’t minded it for one second.

He isn’t sure of what it says about him. He should try not to think about it at all.

When Bobby complains about ‘the idjit in room number one’ being a ghost but at least paying the bill, Dean doesn’t look up from his breakfast to comment.

--

He’s still standing in front of Rufus’s place when one of Michael’s henchmen comes searching for him.

“Hey, I got a message for you.”

“I’m all ears.”

“Since Mr. Adler just got back and has struck a successful deal, tonight there’ll be a nice dinner. With music and good food and everything.”

“And I’m invited?”

“Mr. Adler wants to get to know you.”

“Oh well then, thanks for the warning.”

The guy doesn’t answer and leaves – Rufus raises his head and shakes it for the umpteenth time in the last three days.

“I hope you have an idea of what you’re gettin' yourself into,” he huffs.

“Even if I don’t, it doesn’t matter.”

Maybe they should do it tonight, Dean thinks. Except that he has no idea how to contact Castiel, especially if the guy is off with Alastair’s gang right now. Well, if they manage to meet up before then, good, otherwise they’ll just come up with another option, he figures.

To be entirely honest, he thinks he might miss this whole partnership thing – working with someone has been way less tiring than doing everything on his own as usual, and even if Castiel knows how to be fucking creepy, Dean has to admit that he kind of likes to have him around, expressionless face and deadpan voice and all. After all, he can’t remember the last time he had let someone who wasn’t related to him get that close. But that’s not really the point. They need to get down to business here, and Dean will see that it happens. If there’s a small voice somewhere inside his head telling him that if he let Castiel get away with creeping into his room and perching on his bed then it’s a pretty big deal, Dean ignores it.

Just before sunset, he decides that it’s time to go. He goes back to Bobby’s, washes his face, writes a note saying fancy dinner at Adler’s – we’ll work out how to proceed tomorrow, hands it to Bobby saying to give it to their resident preacher ghost, takes his horse and heads over to Adler’s place.

--

“So you’re our new man? They’ve told me good things about you,” Adler says as he slips Dean what’s supposed to be his first payment. Two hundred dollars – not too bad.

“I’m honored to hear that,” Dean answers, trying not to take notice of the way Adler is looking at him. He really seems like a stupid banker from the East – the only thing Dean can think right now is that Adler could give a snake a run for his money for how slimy he looks. He’s looking at Dean like he wants to tear him apart with just a glance, and it’s unsettling, but then again Dean has been bearing Castiel’s stares for the past three days or so. This won’t be what makes him crumble.

“Michael assures me that you can shoot,” Zachariah says, and raises a hat in his hands – Dean recognizes Michael’s hat from the day he came here first. There’s still a bullet-shaped hole in the middle.

“I had to prove myself, didn’t I?”

“I’m sure you did. And I’m sorry that we haven’t yet put your skills to better use – be assured that you will have a chance very soon.” Adler takes a drink of what looks like pretty fucking pricey whiskey – and Dean is about to eat a piece of chicken when he hears a cry coming from upstairs. He knows how it sounds when a kid gets hit.

He eats the chicken anyway. It tastes like acid.

“Again?” Zachariah complains. “What’s going on upstairs?”

“It’s those kids,” Raphael says. “Guess one of them had another crying fit.”

“Who’s with them?”

“Virgil,” Raphael replies, and that seems to satisfy Zachariah. Dean doesn’t want to know what that means.

“Is their father paying anytime soon?”

“From what we gathered, no.”

Zachariah’s smile, at that, is legitimately scary. “I had plans for that land, so I won’t say it’s bad news. How about the widow?”

“She hasn’t paid for two months.”

“Too bad. I guess it’s high time we get down to business about that. Hey, I think we just got a job for you.”

“Oh. Really,” Dean asks, thankful that his mouth is full so that he doesn’t have to fake nonchalance in his voice.

“I’ll send someone to take care of the kids after dinner. Then tomorrow you and one of the others can go kick those people out. I guess we can send someone with you to help convince them,” Zachariah says, winking at Raphael, and Dean can only guess what it means.

He chews on his acid-tasting chicken and tries to come up with a plan B, because there’s no way he’s going along with this for the sake of his cover. Sending someone to take care of the kids obviously means that they’re going to hand them over to Alastair, and he’s not going to kick decent people out of their homes. From what he’s gathered it’s not like the man in front of him is willing to get blood on his own hands, and it’s making Dean want to punch him. Easy, to pay someone else. And this while Dean’s been getting his hands dirty for years when he doesn’t even want to.

Dean had been lying, when he said he couldn’t pay the bill at Bobby’s – he had some eight hundred dollars with him, the price on the head of the last guy he killed. He hadn’t sent it to Sam because he had already decided to go after the entire gang and figured that he could use some extra money – he had just sent two thousand bucks eastward, and he wasn’t too keen on giving his grandfather more money.

Maybe if he moves fast enough he can catch up with Castiel later and they can come back here and take care of business while everyone is either asleep or drunk. And then they can move on to Alastair – they know where his gang is staying, after all.

Dean knows that this is a highly shaky plan and it might fuck the both of them, but he just – he can’t.

He just can’t.

--

Dean pretends to be so drunk that he can’t even move, and as soon as someone drops him on a bed on the first floor, he starts counting the minutes. One hour should be enough – and it would be, if only Zachariah and Raphael weren’t out on the porch, talking right outside Dean’s window.

“So, the journalist said that we don’t really want to ask for them for more money?”

“That’s what he said,” Raphael answers.

“I guess I should go listen to his reasons then.”

“Now?”

“He won’t be expecting anyone at this time of night, will he?” Zachariah asks. They leave, heading toward the stables, the rest of their dinner uneaten, and Dean decides that it’s now or never.

Upstairs there’s a fairly big guy with a menacing face outside the door behind which Dean figures the two kids are. Well, fuck this. Castiel can be silent, but he can be silent as well, and to be entirely honest he doesn’t feel too guilty when he presses a hand on the fucker’s mouth, takes his knife out of his belt and slashes his throat. It happens with a minimum of noise and thank fuck that everyone in the compound is asleep. He thinks that there has to be a catch somewhere – no one ever gets this lucky – but for the moment he tries not to dwell on it. It won’t do any good.

He tries the door. It’s open. Good – at least he doesn’t have to attract attention trying to break it down.

As soon as he gets in he hears whimpering, and he’s quick to take a match from his pocket and light it. The kids have to be around ten and seven, and they’re clutching at each other, bruises all over their faces.

Dean wishes he could have killed that idiot twice, and not as quickly and painlessly.

“Hey,” he says, “I want to help you. I’m not – I’m not with them.”

The stare he gets back is nothing but suspicious. He moves away, figuring that it isn’t time to worry about shocking them – they’ve already been scarred for life, and he knows from experience.

“You killed him?” the older one says.

“Yeah, well, I’m not the kind who likes using kids for leverage. Come on, if you tell me where you live I’ll take you home. What are your names? I’m Dean.”

“I’m Michael,” the older one whispers. “He’s Asher.”

“Okay, good. It’s time to go. Come on, quick and don’t make noise. If we wake someone up we’re all dead,” he whispers before leading them out. They run outside without a problem – Dean is starting to think that it all was way too easy, but he can’t worry about that now. He gets them both on his horse, then mounts behind them and follows Michael’s directions. At least he had the foresight not to leave the horse in the stables, or that’d have made things more difficult.

--

Dean really wishes there was time for reunions, and he swears that he doesn’t feel like crying as soon as the kids’ father sees them again, but he really can’t afford to linger here, and neither can they.

He doesn’t even have time to say much to the widow, who turns out to be the same woman he helped the day he came into town.

“Listen, all of you,” he says, and that gets their attention. “I freed the kids because in Adler’s plans they were going to – well, uhm, do a very nasty thing, and then they were going to send some people to kick you all out. I – well, let’s say that I had a plan to get rid of the lot of ‘em, but I don’t know how things will go now, so if I were you, all of you, I’d just leave town for now. Here,” he says, handing the widow – Lisa, her name was Lisa – the money he has with him. “That’s going to last a while even if it’s for five of you. Maybe you can come back soon but for now – just go.”

He doesn’t wait for replies as he mounts his horse, but then Lisa comes closer.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Let’s just that there was a time when I needed help and no one it was there,” he says, and turns his back on them and rides off, hoping that they’re quick enough. But he had seen a wagon around back that he thinks is Lisa’s. She had probably understood that it would be needed shortly. And it was good that he doesn’t have time to explain – the last thing he wants to think about now is his family history.

He decides that he should enter town from the side of the undertaker’s place – it’s closer.

What he isn’t expecting is to find Raphael there waiting for him.

Damn.

“Did you really think everyone was asleep? My brother saw you. He didn’t go with my father at the newspaper’s.”

Damn.

“What can I say, killing kids is not in my line of work. Or leaving them to get skinned alive,” Dean answers, wondering if there’s half a chance that he can get a shot off in time, except that it’s already too late as Raphael has a shotgun pointed at him.

“Too bad. You did look promising, but you’ll get what you deserve.”

Something hits him in the temple, and Dean everything goes black.

--

When he opens his eyes, he’s in an empty room and his wrists are bound together with rope – it’s so tight that he’s sure it’s going to rip his skin soon. His right hand throbs like fucking hell – it feels like someone stepped on it and then smashed it with the butt of a rifle. He tries to focus – he can see coffins from the window, so it means he’s in the empty building in front of which he’s been keeping watch since he started working for Adler.

“Well, if this isn’t a surprise.”

Dean’s blood turns to ice as he glances to his left. There’s that soft voice that cuts like steel; Alastair is in front of him. And he’s holding Dean’s own knife.

“This is a lovely blade. Light, sharp. With a good handle.”

“Glad you like it,” Dean mutters.

“I don’t have to use it on you, much as I’d like to. See, someone just wants to know a few things. There’s no need for that pretty face of yours to get hurt.”

“Really. How charming.”

“This someone thinks that you couldn’t have pretended to want to work for him just to break out a few kids. He’s sure that you must have had another purpose. And that you aren’t working alone, because you’d have to be insane to go up against him without back up.”

Yeah, on that Dean can agree. That was exactly the reason he went for the partnership. Which he has fucked up, so he can’t exactly say anything here.

“So, you tell us who’s working with you and what you want, and you might get out of this without me needing to use this. Which would be a pity. You can’t even imagine what I have in mind for you. You’d look fit for one of those museums in Europe, afterwards.”

Alastair is smirking now, and damn this man is crazy, but the least Dean can do is keep his mouth shut.

He’s just sorry he won’t get to say goodbye to Sam, but you can’t help some things, can you?

“Fuck you,” Dean says, and since he can, he spits in Alastair’s face. He’s pretty sure it’s the only chance he’ll get.

“Your funeral,” Alastair shrugs, and he raises the knife to Dean’s cheek.

--

When Rufus hears the screams, he can only think, I knew it.

--

“He isn’t talking,” Dean faintly hears Alastair say as he lies on the ground, as soon as he comes to.

“Well, then why aren’t you making him talk?”

Zachariah.

“Because if you know my methods, you should know that by now he’s passed out. I can’t exactly make him talk, but I will. But since it’ll be a while before he can, I’ll go to Crowley’s and leave Brady here to watch him. Not like he’s in any shape to try to escape.”

“Let me know when he spills,” Zachariah says. Then Dean hears a horse going a way. And even if everything feels hazy and he’s in so much pain that it’s hard to focus, he’s not so far gone that he doesn’t realize that this is his only chance to escape. He tries not to think about the way his face is burning, or to look at his chest, and instead takes a look around. Obviously, Alastair didn’t leave the knife here, but the walls are made of wood and this house is half-falling down. Maybe –

There’s a piece of wood sticking out from a wall. Dean moves closer and manages to break it off, even if it hurts like a bitch to do it with his hands bound. It’s very sharp though – good. He just needs not to drop it even if his fingers are shaking. He tries to feel the bonds – they’re looser.

Of course they are, since his wrists are bleeding by now.

Fine. Alright. Not an issue. He takes a breath, then sticks the piece of wood inside the first knothole he finds and starts moving it up and down, slowly, because otherwise he just can’t do it. It does work though – the bonds start to become even looser. He wishes he could go faster but if he botches it then he won’t have another chance to escape, so he’ll keep on going slow.

He doesn’t know how long it takes but he does manage to cut the rope, and the rest of the bonds fall away. When Dean manages to look at his hands he almost retches – they’re dirty, covered in blood and the fingers in his right one can’t even bend.

Well, fuck, he can’t afford to think about that now. There’s just one man outside, but he has no chance to knock him out even from behind; he’s nowhere strong enough for even slapping someone. Unless –

In order to get to the doorway, you need to walk up three steps, and the entire porch is one level up. If Dean can climb out of the window and move under the porch, he can crawl under the fucker’s feet, and considering that it’s dark and Rufus’s yard is just across the road, he might make it and hide inside a coffin until Rufus finds him. It’s a long shot, but why not? The window is pretty low and his legs are the only part of his body that seem to work all right – he’ll have to risk it. He takes a breath, moves to the open window, climbs out of it and steps out onto the porch – he’s thankful that his feet are bare, because with boots he’d have made a lot more noise. He sits down on the porch, climbs to the ground, then crawls underneath. He moves along the entire left side of the house and when he’s sure that the guard isn’t right over his head, he takes a look down the road. No one’s coming. Except that –

“What even –” Brady starts, and Dean realizes that he must have heard something, because there’s a shuffling sound, and then Brady moves from inside the house.

Well, fuck it, Dean thinks, coming out from under the porch. He stands up, runs to the other side of the road, sees an open coffin with the lid half on it and slips inside, bringing the lid down on top.

“Son of a bitch,” he hears Brady scream from the other side of the road.

Just on fucking time.

“What is this even –” Dean hears then, and yeah, it’s Rufus. Apparently he was still around – well, good, that means Dean doesn’t have to lay here bleeding out until tomorrow.

“Hey,” Dean whispers, and Rufus gasps.

“What –”

“Rufus, for fuck’s sake don’t make noise. I’m inside here, just bring me somewhere safe,” Dean says, his voice an impossibly low rasp. Talking hurts so much that as soon as he’s done with that sentence, he feels his focus slipping.

“I’ll be damned,” Rufus whispers as soon as he glances at Dean lying in the coffin. “That’s –”

“Stop lookin’ at me, dammit. And hey, if – listen, if I don’t – just tell Cas I didn’t say anything.”

“Tell who – what?”

Dean is too far gone though. He hears screams from the other side of the road, but before he can process them, he passes out.

part IV
 
 
feeling: determineddetermined
 
 
 
Giulia: Spn_DeanCas_have eaten my braine0wyn on July 31st, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
Povero Dean (e ho contribuito ^^'), spero che Cas si prenda cura di lui ora altrimenti mi sento troppo in colpa :p
the female ghost of tom joad: supernatural + nick cave = otpjanie_tangerine on August 6th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
Lol via NON SONO COSI' SADICA. (No, davvero. XD) ;)